Napa: Eat Here

If any of you watch Bravo's Top Chef, you will also know about Top Chef Masters. Some of the worlds greatest chefs have been competing to win dollars for their favorite charities. One of my favorite competitors has been Chef Michael Chiarello, founder of NapaStyle, that yummy catalog of cooking essentials. You may have also seen him on his Food Network show: "Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello".

During our weekend of stuffing ourselves in Napa, we made it to Chef Michael's latest venture: Bottega. This Italian based restaurant is located in the town of Yountville in the Napa Valley on the historic Vintage Estates Property, one of the oldest wineries in the valley.

OK...enough of the backstory....on with the food! (And the restaurant of course...this is an interiors blog after all.)

We walked in to see a beautiful interior that was warm and comfortable, and perhaps most importantly, set up to be more about the food, less about the "decorating". Farm house style tables, worn leather chairs and terracotta pavers created that casual but sophisticated atmosphere which embodies the spirit of Napa. We were all smiling at once.

We decided to eat outside on the patio which was covered with awnings which created a warm glow. (Very flattering to the complexion, but I will have to apologize for the color quality of the food photos.) This is the patio next to the entrance where drinks and appetizers are served:

We had a wonderful meal, and I have to admit there were forks flying all over the place while we shared bites. I had a delicious pot of polenta with sauteed mushrooms for my appetizer. Served with a small pitcher of warm balsamic. I just loved this presentation:

Tim had the chicken, flavored with fennel and served with sweet corn, fava beans, onions and good! The plates looked perfect with the logo on the edge.

I also had the Tuscan Tomato and Bread soup, very hearty and very yummy! I could not get a get a good shot however. But I highly recommend it. Perhaps my favorite item at our table was my friend Nicki's salad of snap peas, sweet corn and delicate onions in a citrus refreshing and very tasty. (I am going to try and recreate it for my book group this Friday....wish me luck!)

And at the end of our meal, I felt very pampered when I dabbed my lips with the Frette napkins!

Bottega is well worth a visit if you are planning that Napa getaway. Great food and ambiance. And for all of those shoppers out there, it is right across the path from the NapaStyle Store!

Bon Appetit!